Arabian (arabian) wrote,

Bunch of Random "Vampire Diaries" Thoughts ....

So I finished my third rewatch of season one of The Vampire Diaries, and it was interesting because the first three times I watched it it was within the span of a month. With the brief passage of time, I noticed some things that I thought we're fun and/or interesting. The one thing that has remained the same is the absolute awesome of this show. I love it so, so, so very much.

Behind the cut is a collection of random thoughts, in no particular order, just thrown out there. :)

- I'm a pretty big Damon/Elena fan. I think that Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev have hot, hot, hot, HOT! chemistry, and I love their arc. The good girl, the bad guy, the surface differences paired with the under the surface similarities, the push-pull, the yin and yang of them. The fact that with the two of them I get the fun and the flirty, the passionate intensity and the darkness, the snark and sweetness and that is exactly what I love in a couple. I just love it, love everything about them.

Still, with that said, I actually do like Stefan and Elena. I think they have moments of utter adorableness; there's a sweet chemistry between Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley, but there are two very specific things that keep me from shipping them. And this is regardless of whether or not I had the more preferable Damon/Elena arc -- not to mention the sweet and sizzling hot chemistry between Nina and Ian Somerhalder. The first falls under storyline strictures. Regardless of his reasoning behind it, Stefan was a stalker. He stalked her. For months. He stalked Elena. That's just ... creepy. I'm sorry, but it just is for me. The second is the lack of passion between the two. They do have sweet chemistry, but there is no heat, no fire. They are completely PG. In "Turning Point," when Elena told him she loved him, he zoomed to her and kissed her. That was it; there was no "furiously" kissed her, or "passionately" kissed her, or "feverishly" kissed her or any other like-minded adjective in play there. He just ... kissed her. And the love scene? Oy vey. So very tame. So mundane, so ... PG.

And afterward (well, after the whole run-away, make-up stuff), they're so long-time relationship-like, no spark, no fire, no ... passion. PG. And it's really just how Stefan and Elena are. Because Stefan and Katherine have some hot moments, and when Stefan is being controlled by the bloodlust in "Under Control," the make-out on the bed is, by far, the most heated they've ever gotten. But Stefan wasn't "being himself." So, yeah, Nina and Paul can generate some heat, it's just very rarely in evidence as Stefan and Elena. The characters are sweet and cuddly, and all that jazz, but they just aren't passionate. I like my couples passionate.

- I missed this every other time I watched it, but in "Unpleasantville" the last time that we see Stefan and Elena dancing (the only time where there's no conversation), the camera angle cuts Stefan off and we see Elena only. And Damon in the background watching her ... and he smiles. It was such a sweet moment, one of those where it wholly seemed to be about his affection for Elena with no relation to Katherine at all. Awww.

- I really, really love the relationship with between Damon and Stefan. And there are particular moments/scenes where the why really, really stands out. The final scene of "Under Control" is just brilliant, and such a contrast to the start of the episode when Damon "accidentally" left his glass in a mocking, not-so-nice way. I just love the moments where you can so clearly see that despite everything, Damon and Stefan DO love each other. It's awesome.

- Man, that final scene between Isobel and Alaric gets me every time. So heartbreaking, so good. I tear up; I can't help it. Lordy, I think if given the opportunity, I could ship Isobel and Alaric.

- One of the things that really stuck out for me was that the Bennett witches are promise-breakers. Pretty bad ones too. We have Emily Bennett who promised Katherine she would save and protect her, and we find out in episode 14 that Emily set up a spell to seal the vampires in, not protect them, seal them in forever. Earlier we found out that Emily made a deal with Damon that if she protected Katherine, he would protect her lineage. He kept his promise, saved her children's lives, refrained from killing Bonnie (LOL!), all because a "deal's a deal." Yet, when Damon confronted Emily (in Bonnie), she pretty much flat out said that she was breaking her end of the deal.

Then we have Sheila Bennett (Grams) who told everyone involved that she was going to unlock the tomb, break the seal, etc. and yet she never planned to. Another promise broken. Finally, Bonnie who promised -- her best friend! -- that she would help de-spell the device, and then ... chose not to. Yes, yes, the promises were all made to/for vampires, but the fact of the matter is that each of the Bennett witches made big promises with no intention of keeping those promises. Realizing that, it made me wonder if we're not quite supposed to see the witches, or rather Bonnie, as the good guy.

Just something to ponder. I mean, with this show, you never really know.

Speaking of Bonnie, in retrospect, her power in the second half of the season was very well telegraphed in the first half. Setting an entire room alight with candles, burning up a car without even realizing it, and so when we see her so powerful later on, it does make sense that with focus and training, she's at that point. I just hope that when the show returns, that edge of bitterness that has permeated the character is mostly gone. I got it upon her return, but I'd like it toned down and to see more of Bonnie being a friend, and having *some* fun (as Elena still manages now and then). Get her a boyfriend or something, if that's what it takes to give her some of that early lightness and bubbly personality back at least in small measure.

- I really do adore the scene where Grams dies. Not because I wanted Grams to die; I've always liked Jasmine Guy and I think she did sensational in the role. But the acting was phenomenal; I'm not Katarina Graham's biggest fan, but I think that scene delivered some of the series' finest acting thus far. It broke my heart, and was a turning point emotionally in the series for me. That on top of everything else that happened in the episode (namely Damon's heartbreak due to Katherine not being in the frickin' tomb!!) really brought a whole new game of emotional depth. It reminded me of the season two-parter in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Surprise/Innocence") when Buffy and Angel slept together and he turned all bad. For me, that's when Buffy became a truly great show, hitting on all cylinders. Previous episodes had been very good, great on their own, as is the same case for The Vampire Diaries, but this is when it all coalesced into a whole that was so much greater than the admittedly great sum of its parts.

- Speaking of "Fool Me Once," one of my very favorite moments -- partly because it's never revealed to any other key character -- is Damon choosing to meet with Anna in the square. The phone call to Stefan was about saving Elena. He didn't have the book, and so didn't show up. And Damon had completely convinced Stefan that he didn't care what happened to Elena. But the viewers know the truth. Damon did care; Damon had the book, so he showed up in the square and he made the deal to save Elena all on his own. In the meantime, Stefan found Elena his own way and so Damon never got that chance, and no one -- not Stefan, not Elena, not anyone who had never seen any possibility of good in him (Sheila, Bonnie) -- knew about it. Yes, Damon could have told Stefan where Anna lived, he could have gone that route, but Damon's brain doesn't work that way. He always has to have a plan. That's Damon. He never just rushes in; there's always a plan.

- And the second episode that has that emotional depth of "Fool Me Once" is "Let the Right One In." It just breaks my heart because I know and love these characters. The difference is that, at least in the former, Anna and Pearl, Caroline and Matt were happy, and Jeremy was okay. At the end of this one, everyone -- absolutely EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER FEATURED! -- is miserable, depressed, upset, beaten-down, beaten, heartbroken, you name it. Just wow! And I never know what gets me more,: Caroline seeing Matt choosing Elena in his moment of need while she was brushed aside, or Anna realizing that Jeremy wanted Vicki all along, or Stefan giving into his bloodlust, or ... gah, it just goes on. Absolutely heartbreaking.

- Hmm, Stefan and Alaric really just did not click at all. Even when Stefan was technically helping Alaric find out what happened with Damon and Isobel, there was a tension and animosity there. And, yeah, a severe lack of chemistry. Paul Wesley and Matt Davis just didn't click. I've always been so busy fangirling over the Damon/Alaric awesomeness that I kinda missed that even without that compare, Stefan and Alaric just don't work as a duo. Glad the show kept that to a minimum beyond their first couple of scenes.

- Duh! Thank you, show, you actually gave me a one-line description as to why I love Caroline Forbes so much. Per Bonnie about Caroline: "You channel Scarlett daily." And as Caroline responded: "So true." Yes, it is. OF COURSE, I love her. Caroline is reminiscent of Scarlett O'Hara, and duh, default icon, journal title ... Gone With the Wind lover here.

- Steven R. McQueen looks way better with the shorter hair from earlier in the season. Maybe after the events of the premiere and a bit of time passes, he can get a haircut? Pretty please.

- I've always thought that Bonnie's book trick to "prove" her power was kinda lame. I'm pleased that Damon called it a parlor trick, because, really, it totally was. Speaking of this scene, I've always loved the fact that even as Damon denies giving them the device, he says that he'll rescue Jeremy himself (and he totally would have come up with plan, if given time ... there just wasn't any time). I just loved that line, loved what it showed about Damon's feelings for Elena.

- And moving along a bit, there's a great moment between Elena and Damon (that I never noticed before) at the beginning of the scene where Bonnie "removes" the spell. As she's taking it apart, Damon makes a kinda mocking mystical noise, cut to Elena giving him a look followed by Damon rolling his eyes. Hee! I love their little moments like that. They have a few of them.

- I never disliked Jenna, but she was just kinda there for me in my first three watches of the season, but I gotta say I am loving her this go-round. Just because she doesn't know the mystical secrets of Mystic Falls doesn't make her uninteresting; she has a wry sense of humor and she's trying to navigate through a tricky situation -- that is much more real and identifiable -- than most other characters. And she's mostly doing it with grace.

- On a shallow note, while I do think that Sara Canning is pretty, she doesn't make me stop and go 'wow!' except when she's in her 50's get-up in "Unpleasantville." She looks amazing -- hair, make-up, outfit. It strikes me every time I watch it. It's a very, very good look for her.

- Some of my favorite Damon/Alaric exchanges:

Damon: You have to admit, we were bad-ass.
Alaric: {Strong right-hook}

Damon: You tried to kill me.
Alaric: You did kill me.

Alaric: Hell, you're a dick and you kill people, but I still see something human in you.

- I'm totally into the idea of Stefan and Katherine thanks to "Blood Brothers" -- mostly the opening scene. When Stefan saw Elena/Katherine and they were blending into and out of each other, I was like oh! And then we very clearly saw Katherine react to Stefan's death (but not to Damon's at all), plus the 'I love you's' to each other, I was then all .... wait a minute. I've been going back over other eps and stuff, and gah! The whole contrast of good and evil works just as well for Stefan and Katherine as it does for Damon and Elena (although, I'm such a Damon stan, I refuse to call him evil. He's just ... uhm, misguided at times, LOL!).

- Too much eye make-up on Ian Somerhalder in "Isobel." Tis annoying because he's so very, very pretty and really doesn't need all that. Seriously, Vampire Diaries make-up artists, you're dealing with near male physical perfection here, you don't have to try that hard.

- I love the moment in "Let the Right One In" when Damon stops the snarkiness and seriously explains the dangers to Elena and we get the camera angle that reveals Alaric carefully watching Damon, and the interplay between the two. You can see the wheels turning in his mind that there's actually more to Damon than he believed possible, as well as seeing that spark of something between Damon and Elena.

- A whole minute. We got a whole minute of Damon and Elena dancing. I will never understand some Damon/Elena fans complaining that we don't get more Damon and Elena. In terms of "moments" and "build-up," I think that Damon and Elena have received way more in that slow-burn, long-remembered couples of popularity fashion than Stefan and Elena have received. And a one-minute worth of screentime, slow, sexually-charged, tension-filled dance was just one of those moments. And it was good.

- As much as I adore Damon, when others judge him, I'm usually in agreement ... except for one time. In "There Goes the Neighborhood," Elena and Stefan are all judgy at catching Damon and Kelly making out. And it's so not fair. Take the vampire side out of it, which hadn't even remotely come into play yet, what happened was two single, legal adults went back to his place of abode and in the privacy of that home proceeded to have some mutually enjoyable sexy times. In this instance, Damon did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Not one solitary thing wrong. On the other hand, Elena and Stefan were completely wrong to judge him.

- I think that Ian Somerhalder truly has chemistry with every human being on the planet. Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Matt Davis, Candice Accola, Malese Jow, Marguerite MacIntyre, Katarina Graham, Steven R. McQueen, Kelly Hu, Melinda Clarke, Mia Kirshner ... seriously, there is not one person on this show he doesn't spark with. And, I've shipped him in four other non-Vampire Diaries related outings as well. (Shannon/Boone Lost, Jake/Hamilton Young Americans, Tyler/Carys Wake, Agent Lee Cooper/Ava Williams, Fireball, in case you're wondering.) Of course, I personally think his best chemistry is with Nina Dobrev. UBER-HOT!

- Heh, one of the flat laugh-out-loud moments in the series was in "Children of the Damned," when Damon went to see Anna and they have their hands around each other's throats and neither can win out over the other. Damon finally grunts out, "I give," and the two let go, each coughing and kinda pathetically recovering. It was quite funny.

- Isobel has some fabulous lines. For example:

Elena: Human life means that little to you?
Isobel: It means nothing to me.

So cold, such a perfect illustration of what a vampire with that humanity switch shut completely off is like, but one who's not inherently a cruel person. As I rather assume that Katherine is. Meaning that in life, she was probably a cold-hearted bitch and being a vampire just brought it to the fore. Because even while being cruel, you see strains of the good people they were in Isobel, Damon, Pearl, Anna and Stefan. Of all of the vampires we've met, I think that only Katherine and Frederic were nasty pieces of work in life as well as undeath.

- One of the reasons why I'm not convinced that Stefan/Elena is definitively endgame (aside from the possibly unexpected HUGELY positive reaction to Ian Somerhalder's Damon as well as the UBER-HOT chemistry between Ian and Nina favoring the Damon/Elena option) is because of the "real" parallels. In episode eight, "162 Candles," Lexi tells Elena about her human boyfriend and explains that "when it's real, you don't walk away." Then in episode eleven, "Bloodlines," Elena asks Damon if any of his nice act is "real," and later Lexi's boyfriend tries to kill Damon. Elena saves him by reminding him about Lexi, about what they had was real. Jump to episode fourteen, "Children of the Damned," Elena convinces Damon of her sincerity by removing her vervain necklace and reminding him of their roadtrip. Damon tells her that he didn't compel her in Georgia because he wanted it to be "real." So we not only have the whole "real " conversation which ostensibly is about Elena and Stefan, but is used through a connected theme (Lexi in episode eight to Lexi's boyfriend/Damon and Elena's roadtrip in episode eleven to Elena recalling the roadtrip in episode fourteen) with regards to Damon and Elena. Very interesting, I think, and this show does do a very, very good job of layering bits and pieces in for future usage with regard to not just plot points, but also character-driven points.

- I'm still heartbroken over Pearl's demise. Kelly Hu is just so unbelievably awesome and gorgeous and glowing and fantastic and why, oh why, oh why did they have to kill Pearl off? I loved her so. She was so magnificent. I did like Anna lots too, but my heart weeps mostly for my beloved Pearl.

- Best damn line in the whole season: "I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message." The line itself is fabulous, but the delivery? Oh, Mr. Somerhalder, that delivery is aces.

- I know they only had a handful of scenes, but I seriously love every single one with Damon and Jeremy. Ian Somerhalder and Steven R. McQueen are really good together. Fantastic dynamic.

- Has there ever been a more perfect song accompanying a kiss than "Bloodstream" for the Damon/"Elena" kiss? I do not think so. It's not just the beat, the melody, but also how it builds and wraps itself around their words and the moment, ratcheting up the tension between them. Finally, it's the lyrics and how they so perfectly encapsulate not just what Elena does to Damon, but also what Katherine did/does to him ... and so it does fit that particular reaction they both arouse in Damon.

- Speaking of that kiss ... I posted parts of this here and there back when the episode first aired, but never got around to actually writing the post, so here it goes. My thinky thoughts on the kiss and why I thought it was so completely awesome in pretty much every way under the sun. First of all, Nina Dobrev's phenomenal acting choices. I was thrown a teeny bit by "Elena"'s expression when Damon kissed her on the cheek. It was like "WTF ARE YOU DOING?!" and it wasn't in an amusingly exasperated way, or an annoyed, 'Dude I'm dating your brother' way. It was in a 'what the fuck are you doing?' And I couldn't understand why Nina made that acting choice. And then the SECOND Damon looked shell-shocked and touched his lips, I thought it was Katherine. I went back and rewatched the kiss (a few million times), and that expression made perfect sense knowing that it was Katherine because Katherine wouldn't expect Damon to be nice and courtly, kissing Elena on the cheek. I imagine that she's been keeping tabs enough on things, and she knows what a bad, bad boy Damon's become. So that "WTF!?" made perfect sense coming from Katherine. Then I watched the rest of the episode and once she sees John, "Elena" moves in this tightly-coiled way that after the fact is obviously so Katherine-esque. FANTASTIC acting by Nina in subtly giving that information away in retrospect once you know it's Katherine.

There have been some complaints from the Damon/Elena fanbase that the kiss was unfair and awful as a first Damon/Elena kiss, but I don't think so at all. Unless you absolutely knew (and most watching didn't) or expected (and I'd say a good majority didn't), the audience THOUGHT it was watching a Damon/Elena kiss. Therefore that intensity and squeeful reaction was real. I know I reacted to that kiss waaaaaay more than I did to the kisses I knew were Damon and Katherine during the flashbacks. So I think it was a brilliant play on the show's part. It gave the audience -- a good portion of it Damon/Elena loving -- an unbelievably hot and tender first kiss in the first season despite the fact that it REALLY did not make sense for Elena's character. And they gave the Damon/Elena fanbase what they wanted (not spoiling the squee of the kiss during the moment), but also stayed true to the characters. It also revealed Damon's true feelings for Elena, and now Katherine KNOWS about his feelings for Elena opening up a whole new interesting door. Furthermore, it gives the Damon/Elena fanbase the awesome squee of not one, but TWO first kisses for down the road when they DO really kiss. How many couples get that? I know, I know ... we do! Or will. ;)

Overall, I absolutely adore this show. Out of twenty-two episodes, there are only three I'd call even remotely weak ... and they were the first three episodes of the series. It just got stronger and stronger, reaching the great mark at about episode seven and continuing on before hitting its stride at episode thirteen and then just exploded into magnificence from that point on. I had a few issues with "Blood Brothers," but all of the fantastic surrounding it more than made up for that lack. And every other episode is just brilliant.

I love all of the regular characters, absolutely adoring many of them, I totally dig most of the recurring characters. There are so many wonderful pairings, and not just romantic ones, but familial ones and friendships that warm my heart. I've listed my favorites below, but the bottom-line is that I pretty much simply love every single thing about The Vampire Diaries. If it manages to keep up with this level of excellence, this easily will be my favorite television show of all time. With one season under its belt, it's already in the top five.

Five favorite characters (as expounded on in this post) ...

Damon (Ian Somerhalder)
Elena (Nina Dobrev)
Alaric (Matt Davis)
Stefan (Paul Wesley)
Caroline (Candice Accola)

Five favorite couples ...

Damon/Stefan (sensing a pattern here?)
Stefan/Katherine (or not)
Damon/Liz (Sheriff Forbes) (and there it is again)

Five favorite episodes ...

"Miss Mystic Falls"
"Let the Right One in"
"Children of the Damned"
"Under Control"

Yeah, I can get wordy.
Tags: alaric saltzman, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/alaric, damon/elena, damon/katherine, damon/stefan, ian somerhalder, matt davis, nina dobrev, paul wesley, stefan/katherine, the vampire diaries

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